I cut my editorial teeth on books and I'm still a professional copy-editor and proofreader, one of my most recent projects being Neil Doherty's World Cup 1998: Scotland's Story, published ahead of the Scots' latest foray into major tournament football at Euro 2020.
I particularly love non-fiction and worked for three years as an editorial assistant at Ebury Publishing in London, where I soon took an interest in sports. On my very last day at Ebury we signed up the late, great Sid Waddell’s ‘Darts Babylon’ autobiography after I’d pursued, met and impressed him enough to work with us. It became a successful publication.
My next book role was as a desk editor on the A&C Black practical/self-help and reference imprint at Bloomsbury. Here I was able to demonstrate my skill in writing and copy-editing as well as project management. Most significant was a book called Kids’ Football Fitness. I was able to combine the work of three professional people from the fields of professional football, fitness and nutrition and turn their knowledge into a coherent manual, writing much of the content myself and co-ordinating illustrations and photography. Another upside for me was that they worked at Ipswich Town, my club, and so I got to visit them at Portman Road and see behind the scenes!
After I first went freelance I proofread
a number of titles, including Jeff Stelling’s autobiography, worked as a contributor of sports results for two editions of Whitaker’s Almanack, and even illustrated a couple of books, including Leapfrogs Lesson Plans,
with lots of little people doing swimming, fun exercises and drills.